MY SISTER, MY LOVE by Lucille Iremonger

MY SISTER, MY LOVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It wades in boredom like a night/ Of bad TV and frozen pies. . . No, Lord Byron didn't write that--but he might have if he'd read this fictional mash intended to chronicle his adult life. Because, somehow, through this gawky assemblage--random scraps of correspondence, manufactured conversations and meditations, bits of Byron's poetry (flickering feebly like lost rubies in Jello pudding), mass upon mass of unexamined events--Lord B. emerges as a raging twit, and a tiresome twit at that. True, between stunned stares into the mirror (his thinning hair and ""shaky teeth"" depress him), this Byron seduces half-sister Augusta (""You'll come abroad with me. Get away from debts and brats and that useless husband of yours"") and is embroiled with all those ladies and children, Shelley and his crowd, miserable finances, Tuscan politics, the Greeks, and illness. But there seems to be no attempt here to probe the diverse personalities of such as poor brittle Annabella (Lady Byron), naughty Caroline Lamb, headlong Claire or the Italian sirens, led by Teresa Guiccioli. And there's no attempt to deal with the formal yet agile intellect of the poet, his wrestling with self and sin, or the titillated London society which fed on his notoriety and adventures. This would not matter so much in a fictional romantic toffee if the story were told with some zip and dash. Instead we have an endless, tasteless laundry list of chronological events and utterances without the barest central illumination. An automaton Byron whirring mindlessly through crowds of blank-faced people: pointless.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1980
Publisher: Morrow